Mile 303: Spirit of America Ride for Hydrocephalus Days 4 & 5 Recap

I won’t kid you. The last couple of days have been a little rough on this cycling tour. Our journey totaled 70 miles on Saturday and much of it was in the rain. When it was not raining it was steamy hot and muggy.


The closer we got to our planned campground, the idea of a soft bed in an air conditioned room was dancing in my head like a kid’s sugarplums on Christmas eve. We rode right past the campground and stopped at the EconoLodge in Perry, FL. Bharti Patel, the manager, was so welcoming as Mary and I – hot, wet, and bedraggled, squished our way across the lobby. I could tell she was curious so we told her about our cycling tour and the Spirit of America Ride for Hydrocephalus. Bharti  was wonderful. She gave us a very deeply discounted room, one of their nicest too. A big giant kingsize bed, the air conditioner churning away and a great breakfast the next morning were just what we needed to tackle Sunday’s journey!

Friends in Tampa reported that it poured most of Sunday. We hit our rainy spot the day before and managed to get far enough north and west to miss the worst of it. Considering we rode another 80 miles on Sunday, the sunny weather was certainly an improvement. We ended up going about 5 miles the wrong way, which turned out to be a very good thing. On our wayward jaunt, we spotted what is turning out to be our guiding star…McDonald’s. We had not realized that, on our planned route, we would have been out of luck for a meal. Since it was getting dark, I called ahead to Ochlockonee River State Park only to learn that they close the gate at dusk. The ranger was kind enough to give us the pass code, another stroke of good luck that I called before he was gone for the night! We arrived at the campground a little after 9:00 pm and set up the tent.  Even without the comfortable bed from the night before, we fell asleep instantly.

We are pretty happy we have some Celsius on hand for the last couple of days as Monday will be another long day with 70 miles planned. Our  pace will ease up to around 40 miles per day after that . Over the next several days, our cycling tour continues heading west through the Florida panhandle and we’re open to suggestions for sights and must-see spots along the way. If you have any suggestions, just comment below.

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